Starting off as a producer at the age of 16, the fast-rising act Maverick has carved a niche for himself in the music industry. In this interview with City People’s AGO ARINZE, Maverick speaks on his music career and how his ‘Iyalaya Anybody’ single went viral online.
What genre of music do you do?
Afro-hip hop and afro-pop. If you’re to pick someone doing close to what I’m doing, that’ll be Olamide. You know he has the shakiti bobo kind of groove that makes you dance and then he has other types of beats where he raps.
When did you start singing?
I have always had love for it since I was young. My grandfather likes music, we had big speakers in my house and all those turntables, so I really started loving music at that point in time. “But when I was 16, I started producing because I produce my work; try to get my sound”. While I was in school I didn’t want to do both and have one suffer, so I faced the education. When I got out of school in 2012, I dropped my first single.
Who would you say are your Role Models?
Internationally Jay-z, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. On the local scene which is what I’m really connected to because that’s the market, Don Jazzy because he’s a producer. Wizkid, I reside in Surulere and he’s like the guy that opened the door for us. Olamide, he has made us realize that from the streets you can develop into what you really want to be; that part of him keeps motivating me everytime.
How do you intend to make a difference in the Nigerian music industry?
“I am versatile; that is, not only will I come from the line of Olamide because of his rap but also because I’m a producer”. So I think that also gives me an edge over having to compete on a regular basis, that’s where I really look at. But then at the end of the day, another thing I believe is once you work and you make good music, you’ll get there. I think if you really work hard, put God on your side and you make good music then you’ll actually get there. There’s enough space for a lot of people “like the sky, stars plenty but all of them still dey enter that sky”. That’s how I look at it.
What song gave your your big break?
Iyalaya anybody the remix with CDQ, Durella and Ozone. It’s been played on radio frequently, we play it here in Lagos, play it in Abuja. On the internet it went…wow and that’s why we working on the video because it went viral.
Who would you love To work with?
Right now Olamide he even went out on twitter and instagram, he went out to say he loved the Iyalaya Anybody. Wizkid definitely, I mean Surulere bonding and all. Anybody who is hardworking, even if they are not in my genre of music. I want to work with everybody, one of the reason is your fan base will increase; “like having Durella who has been in the game long before I came into the music scene and making a song with him helped us breakthrough because he has his own fans”. Kiss Daniel, Dija, Skales and maybe King Sunny Ade if God opens that big door.
If you weren’t doing music what would you have been doing?
Engineering definitely, petroleum and gas, I would have actually gone into that or if not, business. “I like that hustle spirit of you having to sell a commodity to the market and get your value for it”. I would have done social media or IT in terms of business because that’s what is in vogue.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Wakama Ene Jnr. I am from Rivers State but I grew up mostly in Lagos. I attended University of Lagos, studied engineering but my love for music has kept me.